KTNV (LAS VEGAS) — In light of multiple recent mass shootings, professionals are saying it’s important for parents to make sure their children are as prepared as possible as they head back to school. There are tools kids can use to stay safe both mentally and physically.
Doron Benbenisty runs CRI Counter Terrorism and Crime School. He says if an active shooter enters a school, they’ll aim for a teacher first, so students need to know how to protect themselves on their own. They can do tricks like turn the lights off, lay down along the wall and cover your head.
“Even if the door gets opened, it’s dark, the shooter looks who to shoot, it’s dark, it’s hard to notice them,” said Benbenisty.
He says it’s a worst case situation, but if a child is faced with a shooter head on and needs to save themselves, they should try to bite the person’s fingers and stab them in the eye with a pen.
For adults in that same situation, they should know where the magazine release is located. Then, they can approach the shooter from behind, take out the magazine and use that as a weapon to hit them in the throat or nose.
These are hard conversations to have with kids, but psychologist Annette Love with WellCare says it’s important to keep conversation open with your kids to mentally prepare them for a situation like this.
According to Love, a good way to approach a conversation is to first ask a child questions to get a feel for how much they already know, then fill in the gaps.
“What have your teachers taught you? And if their teachers have not taught them what I want my kids to know, that’s when I kick into gear,” said Love.
She says that times are different so kids probably know more than we think thanks to things like the internet and social media.
Another tool to keep children safe is a bulletproof backpack made by Guard Dog Security.
This backpack starts at around $100 and some can be as much as $300.
They’re advertised as IIIA protection, which is the same level of protection Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers wear for bulletproof vests on a daily basis.
When put to the test, these backpacks are able to withstand a 9 mm and a 45, but did not stand up to a high velocity rifle.
Company president Yasir Sheikh said they are designed to be lightweight and protect your vital organs in an active shooter scenario.
"If you’re in an active shooter situation, you’re first instinct should be to run away from the scenario. You’re going to take the backpack, yank it over your head, cover your vital organs," said Sheikh.